For Wednesday’s T20 World Cup semifinal match against New Zealand, former captain Shahid Afridi advised Pakistan to bench skipper Babar Azam and start Mohammad Haris as opener. Pakistan, the 2009 winners, seemed to be out of the running till the Netherlands shocked South Africa on Sunday.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar were the top two T20 batters entering the match, however neither of them has yet to reach the fifty-run mark in the match. Rizwan has scored at a rate of one run per ball, in contrast to Babar, Pakistan’s top batter, who has a strike rate of 61.90.
Both will have to elevate their game against New Zealand, the runners-up from the previous year, in the first semi-final in Sydney. India faces England in the second semifinal on Thursday in Adelaide. Shahid Afridi, a former all-rounder, said to a private TV station, “Babar Azam must be receptive to suggestions.
“Babar Azam must drop to number three, while Mohammad Haris must be used with fielding restrictions.”According to Afridi, Pakistan’s middle order hitters Iftikhar Ahmed and Shan Masood should be just as aggressive as the top order.
“Iftikhar or Shan Masood’s body language makes it obvious that they are trying to hit the ball when you look at them. We require cricket played with that kind of intention and in that manner.What use is it to score a run-a-ball 30 or 35 if you can’t win the game after using up so many deliveries? The 42-year-old added.